OUR recent features about Pat Paterson, the Lister’s Mill girl who became a pre-war Hollywood star, evolved from an article by Dr Paul Jennings about the mill’s dramatic society.

Now Dr Jennings, author of The Local: A History of the English Pub and Bradford Pubs, writes: The interest shown in the recent pieces about Pat Paterson, whose life took her from Bradford to Hollywood, reminded me that I have this photograph of the Fitzgerald Arms in the street where she was born.

Number 74 Fitzgerald Street is the address given on the record of her baptism as Eliza Paterson on May 19, 1910, at St James’s Church off Manchester Road, just over a month after her birth on April 7. Her parents are John, who was born in Lochgelly, Scotland, whose occupation is given as grease presser, and Hannah, born in Bradford.

By the census of the following year, the family, of parents, Eliza and her older brother John, were living in a two-roomed house in nearby Crowther Court. Thirty years later, in the US census of 1940, she was living with husband Charles Boyer in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Fitzgerald Street was named for the family which owned a large amount of land hereabouts, which had come into the possession of Colonel Thomas George Fitzgerald of Turlough Castle, Ireland on his marriage to Elizabeth Crowther in 1819, who was the heir to the extensive Lister estates. They lived at Boldhsay Hall, Bradford Moor. Their son, Henry Thomas George, inherited it and he too married an Elizabeth, but they moved to the south of England.

The Fitzgeralds sold land for building as Bradford experienced its massive growth from the 1820s. All this is detailed in local historian William Cudworth’s 1886 book Rambles Round Horton.

Fitzgerald Street connected Manchester Road with Little Horton Lane. Crowther Street may be seen in the photo to the left of the pub. The beerhouse which became the Fitzgerald Arms was built in 1852 for one Joseph Marshall. The plans survive at Bradford Archives and show it as having a bar parlour, bar and kitchen and back room on the ground floor. It was later bought by Bradford brewers Heys in 1896 and shows changes they made to its frontage.

As the photo also shows change was on the way to the area generally by 1960, which would transform it utterly. In that year, the licence of the Fitzgerald Arms was given up, together with that of the Brunswick Hotel in Thornton Road, to be granted to a new pub in Norman Lane at Eccleshill, which became the Sycamores.

The whole district then was demolished in the 1960s. The senior housing officer at Bradford Council, who was good enough many years ago to allow me to look at the records of this and to copy the photograph, commented that along with some slum properties, many perfectly decent houses were destroyed. They were replaced with blocks of flats and open spaces. Today, all that remains of Fitzgerald Street are some rather fine mid-Victorian houses built for Bradford’s middle class at its Little Horton Lane end.

We know what became of Pat Paterson, but what of the little boy looking across at the photographer?